Canon EOS M50 MkII review: best for beginners

Canon's little EOS M50 MkII aims to tackle all tasks in photo and video. But at the entry-level price, can it?

Canon EOS M50 MkII review

by Chris Williams |

Canon has made a reincarnation of its EOS M50 APS-C mirrorless camera. The MkII looks the same as the previous model, it’s the same size, and has almost exactly the same software bar one or two improvements, the most crucial of which is the upgraded autofocus tracking.

We have seen just how impressive mid-sized APS-C cameras can be, thanks to the amazing Fujifilm X-S10. However, the EOS M50 MkII is considerably cheaper than the X-S10. Does that mean it is flawed and compromised as the all-rounder it aspires to be? What’s The Best Contributor Chris Williams has been testing the EOS M50 MkII to find out.

Specifications
Sensor 24.1MP CMOS 22.3mm x 14.9mm
Sensitivity ISO 100 - 25600 standard, expanded up to 51200
Shutter speed 30 sec – 1/4000 sec
Continuous shooting 10fps electronic, no mechanical
Video 4K at 25fps, Full HD 1080p at 60fps, HD 720 at 120fps
LCD screen 3-inch Vari-Angle touchscreen
Microphone connection 3.5mm jack
Wireless connection Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
Battery Rechargeable Li-ion battery LP-E12
Dimensions 116.3mm x 88.1mm x 58.7mm
Weight 387g including battery and memory card
Pros Cons
• Fits in your (jacket) pocket • 4K recording comes with big caveat
• Great image quality • No weather proofing
• Rich colours in images • No in-body image stabilsation
• Impressive AF tracking
• FHD video and mic jack ready for live streaming
• Good first camera
• Nice ergonomics

Jump to:

About Canon cameras and the EOS M50 MkII

While Canon produces a substantial range of different cameras, it would be safe to say Canon is best known by nerds, enthusiasts and professionals for its DSLR cameras, likewise with Nikon. By contrast, brands like Fujifilm and especially Sony are known for their mirrorless cameras.

The EOS M50 MkII is number three out of a four-camera lineup that forms Canon’s range of APS-C mirrorless cameras. Being one of Canon’s few small mirrorless cameras, we are particularly interested in how the EOS M50 MkII performs because mirrorless camera technology is growing fast, both in sophistication and popularity.

Canon markets the EOS M50 MkII as a camera for content creators, meaning it is supposed to superb at video and live streaming, as well as photography. An upgraded smartphone. That makes the EOS M50 MkII an appealing prospect to the new, social generation - if it works.

Build and ergonomics

Controls on Canon EOS M50 MkII
©Photo: What's The Best

The EOS M50 MkII is a small thing, especially for a camera with a medium-sized APS-C sensor. The EOS M50 MkII is about the same size as an Olympus OM-D E-M10, which uses a smaller Micro Four Thirds sensor.

The compact size is pleasing, as is the layout. There are few buttons to get muddled with and some simple menus to navigate within the screen. You can make use of all the clever software by selecting Scene on the mode dial, for example, and choose from Landscape, Portrait, Sport, Close-up and the other usual options you would expect to see.

Drive Mode setup screen on Canon EOS M50 MkII
©Photo: What's The Best

Immediately, this camera’s vlogging and social media claims become apparent with Wi-Fi for live streaming; a well-developed app for image transfer and sharing; a Scene setting specifically for food; HDMI and micro-USB ports (the latter is for charging) behind a flap on the right-hand side of the camera body; and a 3.5mm audio jack occupies the flap on the left.

Food Scene menu on Canon EOS M50 MkII
©Photo: What's The Best

While the ergonomics are bang on, the buttons and dials don’t feel quite as reassuringly solid as those on the Fujifilm S-X10 we previously tested, and the shutter click is rather tinny. I know the latter is a non-issue because it doesn’t have any actual effect on performance, but it’s enough to make you give a mildly disappointed ‘huh’ the first time you press the shutter button.

Performance

shops at night
1/25 sec | f/5.6 | ISO 4000 | EF-M 15-45mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM @ 31mm ©Photo: What's The Best

I am delighted to report the EOS M50 MkII is a very capable camera, which is important because it means the EOS M50 MkII still knows what it is. The upgraded autofocus works wonders, constantly and accurately refocusing on the subject when continuously shooting (at 7.4fps). There is the Panning motion shot option to select from, too. In addition to all of this, the 10 frames per second continuous shooting proves its worth in most scenes involving motion. Just remember at 10fps the focus is fixed, and there is no mechanical shutter on the EOS M50 MkII, meaning that it doesn’t cope so well with fast motion, such as a racing car screaming down a start/finish straight.

Moss on a gravestone
1/160 sec | f/5 | ISO 640 | EF-M 15-45mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM @ 30mm ©Photo: What's The Best

Image quality is tremendous for an entry-level camera. You have the tried and proven 24.1-megapixel APS-C sensor to thank for that. It also gives you decent quality in low light and colours are made vivid with a high dynamic range. It’s a classic Canon in this department.

However, one of the noticeable missing features from the EOS M50 MkII is the lack of in-body image stabilisation. We’ve become spoilt with mirrorless cameras bearing this wonderful feature that, all things going well, allows us to take handheld photos with a shutter speed of a couple of seconds. Certain lenses compatible with the EOS M50 MkII have optical image stabilisation, but that’s it.

A white swan on a river
1/400 sec | f/5.6 | ISO 100 | EF-M 55-200mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM @ 135mm ©Photo: What's The Best

Video

4K! It records it 4K! Yes, it does - but don’t get too excited. It’s more of a marketing ploy or a specification box to tick than a proper feature. The reason is that it can record in 4K at 25fps but crops the footage quite a lot at 1.56x, which isn’t great. But on the upside, you can record in Full HD 1080p at 60fps. And for YouTube, that’s what you really need.

If you are doing some presenting, you will find much use for the self-timer that gives you a few seconds to get into shot before recording.

Lenses

As it stands, the range of EF-M lenses fit the EOS M50 MkII. There isn’t a large variety of these but luckily, there is a mount adaptor available that allows the EOS M50 MkII to accept Canon’s much more comprehensive range of EF-S and fixed focal length EF DSLR lenses.

I used the EF-M 15-45mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM and EF-M 55-200mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM lenses and found them both to satisfy their respective purposes. I have no qualms about either of them. The 15-45mm is fantastically compact and a solid all-rounder, as Canon describes. Equally, the 55-200mm zoom lens is relatively compact, too, and thankfully both feature image stabilisation.

Verdict

This is a tricky one. I like the EOS M50 MkII. For a little, essentially entry-level camera it is amazing, feature-packed and very easy to use. But I’m not sure the upgraded smartphone pitch works. The problem with it is that most people will still stick with smartphones. And why not? You have Messenger on your smartphone.

If you’re intent on photography, the Fujifilm X-S10 is a better camera, albeit more expensive but with a much larger range of lenses available. Yet, the EOS M50 MkII is a good camera in its own right, certainly for beginners. And the price is attractive. The compact size counts for a lot too. You really can pop it in your pocket if want to and have one of the compact lenses fitted.

If you’ve dabbled in photography and are hunting for something with good ability and something to grow your skills with, I suggest saving a bit longer and buying the Fujifilm X-S10 over this. But, if you’re a greenhorn looking for your first camera, the EOS M50 MkII is worth considering because it offers a great value package that you won’t find elsewhere at this price.

Score: 3.5/5

Pros Cons
• Fits in your (jacket) pocket • 4K recording comes with big caveat
• Great image quality • No weather proofing
• Rich colours in images • No in-body image stabilsation
• Impressive AF tracking
• FHD video and mic jack ready for live streaming
• Good first camera
• Nice ergonomics

How we tested

I had the EOS M50 MkII for two weeks. During that time, I endeavoured to use it in as broad a range of scenarios as possible.

I used it in urban landscapes, for wildlife, for car photography, and at night.

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Chris Williams is the Commercial Content Writer and reviewer for What's The Best, specialising in bikes, fitness, cars, parenting and cooking.

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